Richland County


Although his opportunities to procure the thorough education for which he so ardently yearned were limited the subject of this sketch has been exceptionally successful in the battle of life, and he is today known as one of the most substantial citizens of Preston township, Richland county, Illinois. The entire career of John Taylor Kermicle has been characterized by industry, and a determination to overcome all obstacles in his efforts to make his way in the world.

Mr. Kermicle is a product of the fair state of Kentucky, having been born in La Rue county, December 17, 1846. His parents were Samuel and Mary (Trainor) Kermicle. His father was born in Maryland, and his mother at Rock Bridge county, Virginia, January 30, 1800. Samuel Kermicle, father of the subject, moved to Kentucky with his parents when quite a small boy, and they settled on a small farm, where he died in November, 1855. Shortly after the death of his father, the subject and his mother moved to Richland county. They made the trip by wagon to Louisville, from there they crossed on the ferry to New Albany, Indiana, thence by rail by way of Greencastle to Vincennes, where they changed cars to the Ohio & Mississippi Railway, which is now the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern. This road carried them to Olney, Illinois. Two older brothers of the subject had prior to that located in Richland county, and the newly arrived travelers made their home with them. Mr. Kermicle's mother died November, 1874, having attained the age of seventy-four years and ten months.

When eighteen years old, Mr. Kermicle, who was then living with a brother in Preston township, made arrangements with a neighbor to work land on shares, the agreement being that he should be furnished with all the necessary agricultural implements and receive one-third of the crop as his share, for his labor. This agreement lasted for two years, and during this period the subject plowed most of the ground upon which now stands the town of West Liberty. During the three years following the termination of this agreement, he worked on shares with an older brother.

On September 28, 1869, Mr. Kermicle was married to Sarah C. Zerkel. Immediately after his marriage he rented a farm, known now as the Fred Schilt place, containing one hundred and sixty acres. He remained there three years when he purchased sixty acres in Preston township, disposing of the same, however, within twelve months. His next venture was the purchase of the land upon which he now lives, which consists of two hundred and ninety-six acres, of which eighty acres was the original amount first purchased, and for which the price paid was ten dollars per acre, and which now averages a value of fifty dollars per acre.

The subject is the youngest of nine children, only five growing to maturity. His wife was born October 12, 1847, in Clark county, Ohio. She is the daughter of Noah and Martha (Foltz) Zerkel, both of whom were natives of Virginia, but left there when mere children. They were married in Clark county in 1845, and remained there eighteen years, when they removed to Richland county, Illinois, making the trip in a wagon and encountering many difficulties on account of the bad condition of the roads. They purchased one hundred and eighty acres east of Dundas, Preston township, paying twenty-two dollars per acre for a well improved farm. They remained here for eight years, at the end of which time they purchased a farm in Clay county, where the husband remained until his death, which occurred July 14, 1889, when he was in the sixty-ninth year of his age. The mother survived him many years, she dying October 24, 1908, at the age of eighty-one.

To Mr. Kermicle and his wife nine children have been born, one having died in its infancy. They are, Perry, Aden, Rosella, Warren, Delia, Levina, Edgar and Olive, all married except Edgar.

The subject of this sketch attended one term of three months of subscription school in Kentucky, and was a pupil in the free school at Dundas for a short time. Mr. Kermicle believes in the principles of the Democratic party, and has always been an active worker in that political organization. He has held the office of Township Clerk, Assessor, Supervisor and has been Highway Commissioner for fifteen years. He has held office in the township altogether about twenty-two years.

The subject is a member of the Baptist church, and is very faithful in his attendance upon services.

Extracted 21 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 459-461.

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